Clearly, The Telegraph Media Group -- which dropped out of the consortium in the past -- has seen more potential in the idea of coming together than was previously evident.
Regardless, the project -- now renamed The Ozone Project -- is a huge step toward quality journalism fighting back against the duopoly of Google and Facebook. It comes at a time where three UK quality ad-trading platforms are emerging.
We already have 1XL formed by Johnston, Archant, Newsquest and D C Thomson joining forces on a local scale to offer national coverage. Trinity Mirror was supposed to have been a partner in this, due to its strong portfolio of regional as well as national titles. However, it is now in the throes of finishing off the acquisition of Express Newspapers, having rebranded itself as Reach.
You can see why it chose the name. A combined ad sales platform will mean advertisers can build scale and "reach" through The Express newspapers and The Star titles as well as The Mirror, The Sunday People and the aforementioned plethora of local titles.
And now we also have the remaining big names in national titles. Between them, the Ozone Project team will offer a vast range of advertising options from News UK's The Sun and The Sun on Sunday, to The Times and The Sunday Times, extending to both Telegraph titles as well as The Guardian and The Observer.
You would have to say, in terms of varied demographics, that Ozone looks to be the better option with its "red top" titles and quality reads. Reach has the former and will soon have the disgruntled retired niche reacher locked down with The Express but lacks that broadsheet quality journalism appeal which Ozone has in spade and can supplement with some tabloid readers too.
Then we have the Daily Mail doing its own thing. It has massive reach, but you can't help but feel it will be dwarfed by Ozone and Reach, when they finally launch formally.
But, it has to be said that this is the way forward. It has been talked about in media circles for many years, and finally it is happening. Advertisers are being given access to a vast range of quality titles from the same ad platform, cutting down on fraud and safety fears and allowing the titles to sell quality inventory at premium prices.
This will do more to take the fight to the duopoly than any other measure the titles could imagine. We have three large groupings of national and regional press coming together, with the Daily Mail doing its own thing, to offer reach and scale.
This is a massive step toward offering an alternative to the two well-trodden paths to mass markets offered by the US tech giants.